Hotel De France Experience
Wednesday 30th September to Sunday 4th October 2015
Join the Octane editorial team members for a convivial tour to La Sarthe, Le Loir & La Loire.
You will be escorted on what promises to be an unforgettable experience.
We will take three nights at the famous Hotel De France at La Chartre-sur-le-Loir. From here you can enjoy your car on fabulous roads with like-minded enthusiasts.
Wednesday 30th September
The tour departs from Portsmouth docks at 7pm, having checked in you will be shown to the dedicated loading line for the 'Octane tour' participants. The line-up of cars on the tour promises to be very impressive, so having admired them, we will then board the ferry together. Once on board you can find your commodore (based on availability) cabin before heading up to the piano bar for the cocktail reception. We can make our way to our reserved tables for dinner when ready. Having got to know your fellow travelling companions you can retire to your comfortable cabins after dinner.
Thursday 1st October - Driving distance 220 miles. Driving time 4 hours
Breakfast will be bought to your cabin to enjoy before our arrival into St Malo at 8am. Your detailed route maps and itinerary are provided for you in your 'Hotel de France' leather wallet.
Upon leaving the port we head south to our first rendezvous point of the day, just South of Rennes. Coffee and croissants await us at the fabulous Manoir de l'Automobile, which houses one man's personal collection, which never fails to amaze those that view it. Once suitably refreshed we will have time to visit the astonishing selection of motor vehicles. To complete the visit we will have a light lunch amongst the collection before taking to the private circuit situated next to the museum. The circuit is ours for the afternoon to have a play before we head East to the Hotel de France, our base for the next three nights.
In the evening we convene for welcome drinks before dinner in the hotel's restaurant.
Friday 2nd October - Driving distance 130 miles. Driving time 4 hours
After a traditional French continental breakfast at the hotel we head out of the Loir and into the Loire, tackling some classic French D roads enroute to a coffee stop by the river side. We then head onto Chateau de Chenonceau, perhaps the most splendid of all the chateaux in the Loire. We will have privileged access allowing us to drive our cars through the gates and park them in front of the Chateau. Refreshments will be ready on arrival and will be followed by a guided tour of Chenonceau. We then take lunch in the excellent restaurant at the Chateau, before meandering back towards the Hotel.
At the end of the afternoon we will board the hotel's historic H Van to take us to our local wine producer's caves. This visit never fails to entertain, and the proprietor will offer some of his finest and oldest wines during the tasting.
Following the tasting we will take you back to the hotel's restaurant where dinner will be served.
Saturday 3rd October - Driving distance 80 miles. Driving time 3 hours
The day begins with a relaxed breakfast at the hotel. There is time to fettle the cars before we drive the route to the Le Mans 24 hours circuit. This is the very route used by the team cars driving to and from the circuit between 1953 and 1963, including the 1959 winning cars. On arrival at the circuit we will be given a guided tour of the museum by the curator. The fascinating museum chronicles the history of the race from 1923 to date. From here we will then be given a behind the scenes tour of the circuit, and have a special photo opportunity arranged. We will enjoy a light lunch overlooking the circuit before returning to the hotel. As the afternoon ends we don our finery and take to the cars once more for an early evening blast along the Loir. We have a short but entertaining drive to the private Chateau du Lude. Upon arrival we park the cars in their courtyard, where the bubbly awaits. We will be given a privileged tour of the chateau before taking our seats in the magnificent reception room, for a very special finale dinner. At the end of the evening we will leave our cars securely in the courtyard whilst we are whisked back to the hotel in our own private carriage!
Sunday 4th October - Driving distance 150 miles. Driving time 3 hours
After breakfast we will take the drivers back to Le Lude to retrieve their cars, whilst the passengers can relax in the bar or wander around the town.
Participants can take a light lunch at the hotel before departing back for the port of Caen to check in for the 16.30pm sailing.
- Return sailing with Brittany Ferries with commodore cabin on the outward crossing.
- Dinner included each way on the ferry
- Three nights at the Hotel
- Dinner with wine on all five evenings
- All visits and transfers described in the itinerary
- Services of an experienced tour manager
Price: £1,095 per person
Based on two in a car sharing a twin/double room
Single room supplement £195
For further information or to book, contact: Thomas at Classic Grand Touring
T: 01483 281 282